(written on the 18th...) Today I made my way to John Wayne Airport to catch a ride to New York. After getting yelled at by the mean old lady behind the ticket counter, my plane took off for its first stop in St. Louis. Right before we were about to descend, The Powers That Be deemed that the St. Louis weather was inappropriate for landing. So we circled. And circled. Finally, we landed. Since there was about an hour before the plane was scheduled to take off for the next segment of the flight, I "deplaned" to locate an outlet where I could get a charge in my laptop. I was a little startled to find that the upcoming flight was already being flagged "DELAYED" as I passed out of the gate. There was talk of cancellation, and everyone sat very still in a state of panic, despair, and disbelief. Two hours later, surrounded by defeated standby passengers with rage burning in their eyes, I boarded the heavily overbooked plane to New York. I won't call this a victory, though. Right before we were about to descend, The Powers That Be deemed that the New York weather was inappropriate for landing. So we circled. And circled. And circled. And, eventually, we landed. In Washington D.C.. Apparently New York City can withstand the weight of eight million people, an ungodly crime rate, and ten years worth of uninterrupted performance of Cats. But at the mere hint of a thunderstorm, the city shuts down. After circling over Virginia for awhile, TWA lost their balls and began the search for a foster home for our airplane. On the ground in D.C., people were itching to stretch, use the payphones, and make alternate plans. Naturally, technical problems prevent the crew from opening the door. I thought a riot might break out on board. We have finally taken off again. We'll see if The Powers That Be deem us worthy of La Guardia airport this time around. Some addendums to my airline theories: - Come to expect that the people sitting direct behind you will be passionately opinionated towards some controversial topic (this time around it's gays in the military), and will carry on a heated discussion about it for the duration of the trip. The more you eavesdrop, the more accutely aware you will become that one or more of these people are full of shit. - You will inevitably be flying into an airport that is plagued with thunderstorms, ice, natural disasters, and Mothra sightings. This may lead you to believe that reality as you percieve it is just a big game of SimCity. Regardless, expect to hear the term "holding pattern" come through the intercom just as you stow your tray table and put your seat back in the upright position. - Anyone who speaks on the intercom is doing so to deliver bad news. To ease the passengers' anger, the speaker will always speak calmly, clearly, and slowly. In reality, this practice just pisses off the passengers more, as it interferes with their eavesdropping. --ryan.